Published February 22, 2014
Chipping away the modern hustle and bustle to give a glimpse of the past, the fourth annual Silver River Knap-In is coming to Silver Springs State Park, February 22nd and 23rd. Offering a variety of activities and demonstrations meant to bring history to life, the Knap-In will feature expert flint knappers from around the country. Knapping, or chipping away bits of rock to recreate arrowheads and other lithic tools, is a hard learned skill that takes time and patience to acquire.
“A lot of the knappers are really artists,” Scott Mitchell of Silver Springs State Park explained, “They make beautiful replica stone tools. They get chert that is very colorful, glossy, and beautiful and they make these gorgeous modern art pieces that look like prehistoric tools.”
Knappers flock to the Silver River Knap-In from around the country to share tips of the trade and to admire one another’s technique. The event will feature not only knappers, but archaeologists, potters, hide tanners, bow makers, and other specialists in prehistoric skills. This event is unique in that it will have on display a number of ancient Native American artifacts from around Florida, as well as demonstrations in archery, tomahawk, and atlatl spear throwing each day.
“It is interesting to watch these folks work at these crafts that have, for the most part, been forgotten,” Mitchell continued, “It’s a lot trickier than it looks.”
The park intends to host around 900 students on a special friday event, and then nearly twice as many people when the program is open to the general public on Saturday and Sunday. Lectures on archaeology, historic puppets shows, and other demonstrations will be underway all weekend long. During the weekend of the event, entry to both sides of SIlver Springs State Park will be free, and admission into the Knap-In event will be $5 per person. For more information on this event, you can visit www.silverrivermuseum.com or call 352-236-5401.